MDA to continue rewarding new animal waste technology

Associate Editor

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Agriculture will award an additional $2.5 million next year to companies developing new animal waste technology with the goal of improving farm manure management and reducing the amount of excess nutrients that leach off farms and pollute nearby waters and the Chesapeake Bay.
The department is developing a request for proposals to be released this month with input from its Animal Waste Technology Committee, according to a recent presentation given to the Phosphorous Management Tool Transition Advisory Committee. The deadline for proposals would be in March and the money would be awarded in June.
The fund, which distributed about $3 million for fiscal year 2015, according to the department’s website, was created to provide incentives to companies that develop new technologies on farms that provide new strategies for managing animal manure.
They can generate energy from manure, reduce on-farm waste streams and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and byproducts. The PMT committee reviewed projects currently funded. They include:
• About $1.2 million to Renewable Oil International MD LLC for a project dealing with poultry manure in Wicomico County. The technology uses rapid thermal decomposition or fast pyrolysis to reduce the volume of litter by 50 to 63 percent and create co-products such as bio-oil, bio-char and syngas.
• About $970,000 to Biomass Heating Solutions Inc. a poultry project in Dorchester County that uses fluidized bed technology to create hot water and electricity and a fertilizer byproduct.
• About $676,000 to Planet Found Energy Development for a poultry project in Worcester County that uses anaerobic digestion with a nutrient separating system to produce methane for heat and electricity.
• Nearly $390,000 to Green Mountain Technologies Inc. for two projects — one dealing with horse manure in Howard County and another dealing with dairy cattle in Frederick County — that uses in vessel composting to reduce nutrient solubility and volume and nutrient content by 50 to 60 percent. End product uses include crop fertilizers and nursery or landscaping products.